End of an era as last-ever Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” leaves Everett factory

The last Boeing 747 leaves the company’s wide-body factory ©Boeing/Paul Weatherman

It was a day for nostalgia at Boeing Co. on December 6 as the last-ever 747 Jumbo Jet, a 747-8 freighter left the company’s plant in Everett, Washington for completion before being delivered to Atlas Air early next year.

It was 54 years ago that the first-ever 747 rolled off the production line at the purpose-built plant in Everett on September 30, 1968, entering into service for its launch customer Pan Am on January 22, 1970. The 747, nicknamed the “Jumbo Jet” because of its extraordinary size at the time, was the world’s first twin-aisle commercial aircraft. Since then and as a family with multiple variants, 1,574 of the aircraft have rolled off the production line at Everett.

“For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come,” said Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President and general manager, 747 and 767 programmes.

This final variant is a 747-8 freighter which has a revenue payload of 133.1 tonnes, sufficient to transport 10,699 solid-gold bars or approximately 19 million ping-pong balls!

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